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Extra-Curricular

by Tomas - 0 Comment(s)

Beyond the the lessons offered in the classroom, the complex social world of school is a rite of passage for many. Everyone's experience is different, and can range from affirming to harrowing. Luckily, there is bound to be a book or a movie that will speak to your experience. Whether you are just starting a new school, a seasoned veteran or just reminiscing, these materials may add further nuance, or comfort, to your experience.

Fatty LegsFatty Legs, a true story, is one of a growing number of books that shed light on the traumatic impact of the Residential School System in Canada. Set in the 1940s, in an Inuvialuit community in the Arctic Circle, Fatty Legs tells the story of Margaret, a young girl who desperately wishes to attend one of the church-run schools that had been established in a town. Her enthusiasm for learning is soon matched with a need to survive, as she struggles to maintain her identity within a system designed to destroy it.

Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time IndianThe Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is indeed based on author Sherman Alexie's childhood experiences. The story follows Junior, who after an explosive encounter with one of his teachers, leaves his school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend the nearby all-white farm town highschool. Equal parts humour and heartbreak mingle in this story, along with the two worlds that Junior occupies.

Chocolate WarA classic YA story, before such a category even existed, The Chocolate War definitely falls within the harrowing category. Through the simple act of refusing to take part in the annual chocolate sale, Jerry Renault unexpectedly throws the entire system of the Trinity Catholic Boys School into chaos, and pits him against both the local student mafia and instructors, who maintain and depend upon this system.

SmileDramaThese two graphic novels by Raina Telgemeier present two coming-of-age stories that are sure to resonate with anyone who has ever been in middle school. After a traumatic visit to the dentist, resulting in a horrifying combination of corrective surgery, headgear and retainers, eleven-year old Raina struggles to lead a 'normal' school existence. Drama follows the theatrics on and off the stage as our hero Carrie takes part in her school's production of Moon Over Mississippi.

Deathly HallowsHarry Potter and the Chamber of SecretsReally, what more needs to be said now about the Boy Who Lived... and also managed to graduate from the most famous school of Witchcraft and Wizardry?

Freaks and GeeksIn my humble opinion one of the best depictions of school life, Freaks and Geeks also launched the careers of several cast members (James Franco, anyone?) and its creator, Judd Apatow.

Napoleon DynamiteGentlemen BroncosWith Napoleon Dynamite and Gentlemen Broncos, Director Jared Hess offers two decidely quirky takes on the social order of school, of both the home and institutional variety.

In addition to these Fictional stories, the Calgary Public Library also has a great selection of non-fiction titles that can help you navigate the sometimes arcane and confusing rituals of the educational system.

Drama YearsSurvive Middle SchoolMajor in Highschool97 things to do before you finish highschoolHighschool hazingWhere should i sit at lunch?

Of course, this barely scratches the surface of what is out there, so let us know what titles you would recommend!

More Books Recommended by Calgary Teens

by Courtney N - 0 Comment(s)

Teen volunteers on the Crowfoot Library Teen Advisory Group sent us mini book reviews of their top recommendations from Calgary Public Library. Here is the next batch of recommendations!

Thus Spoke ZarathustraSophie's Pick:

Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Nietzsche

This is an extraordinary book abound with fascinating insights into human nature and society. Though its prose is quasi-biblical and fairly dense, Thus Spoke Zarathustra was well worth the effort and definitely widened my perspective on the world. Nietzsche wrote eloquently and used beautiful metaphors that succinctly sum up fundamental truths about humanity. Though I regret not having had the German background that would've enabled me to understand the original, Walter Kaufmann's translation is fantastic and had been a pleasure to read. I highly recommend this brilliant and powerful work.

The SelectionAvanti's Pick:

The Selection by Kiera Cass

This book is one of my favorite reads. It has everything; action, adventure, romance, secrets and an amazing cast of characters. The plot is compelling and you don’t want to put the book down. While it is generally a romantic book, there are other elements to the story. You learn a lot about the futuristic world she lives in and there is a lot of political tension, which keeps the mood interesting. Told from the main characters perspective, you get a feel for the other characters. Kiera Cass created authentic and relatable characters. The lead character is America and you can’t help but love her. She is natural and genuine, not to mention drop dead gorgeous! In short, this book is a fantastic read that any girl will enjoy. Also, don’t stop at the first book; the second brings shocks and surprises, while the third and last book in the trilogy will be out in April 2014.

InfernoDaniel's Pick:

Inferno by Dan Brown

Inferno is a great book for anyone who likes to read suspenseful, thriller, mystery (sort of), book. It is based on Dante’s poem Inferno. The book is written by Dan Brown who is known for writing the Da Vinci Code. If you liked the Da Vinci code, try Inferno too.

 

DivergentRebecca's Pick:

Divergent by Veronica Roth

A dystopian thriller, "Divergent" is yet another teen novel that needs to be added to your "must read" list. The story follows Tris, a 16 year old girl living in a futuristic society which is divided into 5 "factions" based on a person's core values. Tris must make a life-changing decision: does she stay with her family and remain selfless in the factionshe has known her whole life, or does she join the supposedly dangerous faction of the Dauntless where she feels she really belongs?

This page-turner will have you perched on the edge of your seat, so be prepared for many sleepless nights devoted to hungrily devouring its contents. "Divergent" is the perfect mix of fantasy, romance, bravery and action, and once you finish it, you will be begging for more. Thankfully, its sequel, "Insurgent," will be patiently waiting on the shelf.

In a HeartbeatSam's pick:

In a Heartbeat by Loretta Ellsworth

‘In a HEARTBEAT’ by Loretta Ellsworth, is my favorite book because I love the story line — like what happened in the book and how the story was told. This book talks about two girls named Eagan and Amelia, one of them is healthy, and one of them is dying. One girl dies and gives her heart up to medical uses, and so because of that, the other girl who was dying, lives. Eagan had problems with her past. When Eagan’s heart is in Amelia’s chest, she starts acting differently and there just could be a possibility that Amelia can help solve Eagan’s problems. You should read this book if you haven’t already.

Books Recommended by Calgary Teens

by Courtney N - 0 Comment(s)

Teen volunteers on Crowfoot Library's Teen Advisory Group sent us mini book reviews of their top recommendations from Calgary Public Library.

InkheartLulu's Pick:

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

Inkheart is an excellent book for teens interested in fantasy adventure novels. The storyline is great, with a few unexpected plot twists in the middle. The characters are very well-developed, and I especially like the character Dustfinger. Hope you will enjoy this book!

 

Gone with the WindMaya's Pick:

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

One of my favourite novels is Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind. The story follows the southern belle Scarlett O’Hara through the American Civil War and her struggle to rebuild her life afterwards. It touches upon a myriad of ideas including: dreams, hardship, loss, change and personal strength. Scarlett is surrounded by many unforgettable characters such as the lovable mammy, frustrating Prissy, sweet Melanie, honourable Ashley, and, of course, the wild Rhett Butler.

DivergentLisa's Pick:

Divergent by Veronica Roth

I'm Lisa and one of my favourite books is called Divergent, written by Veronica Roth. This book is set in a dystopian society where people are divided into factions that fits a particular personality trait. It is a fast paced and exciting book. I particularly liked the main character because she represents the typical sixteen year old teenage girl, but she takes matter into her own hands and creates her own destiny. This makes her a relatable and interesting character to read about. I would definitely recommend this book.

Aya of Yop CityNicole's Pick:

Aya of Yop City by Marguerite Abouet

Aya of Yop City is a series of six Franco-Belgian graphic novels, and is the second of the series. It is a novel that follows the lives of many different people living in Côte d'Ivoire during the 1970s. All of the characters are connected by the main character, Aya, as she assists and helps them through numerous issues. This book is a well-written graphic novel that is light-hearted, a great source of discussion, and reveals a lot about the culture Côte d'Ivoire during the 1970s. I definitely recommend this series as a whole.

A Child Called ItInsiyah's Pick:

A Child Called "It" by Dave Pelzer

This book is simply amazing. It tells a story about a child and his survival through child abuse. There are times in this book that can make you cry your eyes out or sometimes even get violent. It's very well written and told perfectly.The way the boy explains what's happening to him will just break your heart. This is a really good one time read and it truly opens your eyes against something that is still a very big problem in our society. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has a stomach for vicious and disturbing things.

Calling All Volunteers

by Monique - 0 Comment(s)

Need volunteer hours? Looking for somewhere to volunteer? Looking for something to boost your resume or school portfolio? We have the solution for you! Not only is it a rewarding feeling to know that you have helped someone learn something new, or improve on a skill, but it provides you with an opportunity to learn and grow as well. Gather a couple of friends and volunteer together; not only will you gain some valuable experience, you can have fun doing it.

If you are in grades 7 to 12, we have several great volunteering opportunities at any of our 18 branches: Computer Buddies, Cyber Seniors Connect, ESL Teen Talk, Reading Buddies, and Curious, the Library Mascot. Interested in volunteering at a specific branch? Check out our current opportunities. If you are looking for more information about volunteering at the library, check out our volunteer blog. If you are interested, fill out an application form online or drop by any of the eighteen branches to get an application form.

Great Graphix for 2014—Bleak, Bizarre and Beautiful continued

by Adrienne - 0 Comment(s)

It may be a bit early to think of this year's Comic Con coming up in April however Camilla d'Errico's 2nd volume of Tanpopo is just hitting the stacks sooo... I thought it might be appropriate to highlight some great new and old additions to the fabulous Teen Graphix collection we have. Tanpopo is a 3 volume story of a girl raised by a machine-driven mind prison, who frees herself and goes on a journey of emotional and intellectual self discovery guided by a "boy" who is either a devil or trickster character or both. D'Erricco uses text from Goethe's "Faust"(and it is a Faustian journey that Tanpopo embarks on!!), Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" and Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio by Liaozhai Zhiyi.

Goethe started writing Faust when he was 19 and finished it a week before his death - how's that for the work of your life? Camilla uses the text and re-contextualizes it to create her own poetic story, complete with her sparse but beautiful comic illustrations all rendered with a fine point acrylic brush. Hailing from Vancouver d'Erricco has also published a YA graphic novel called Burn and several books of her art. One of which I just happened to get hand autographed with a drawing of her own when I met her at last year's Comic Con. (I'm sure she'll do the same for you if you go this year, nudge, nudge), she is, generous like that, and cool; hence me being so excited about her latest release. Did I mention that she snowboards and makes her art into designs for cell phone skins, laptops, snowboards, dresses, leggings, chairs, wallets, make-up cases and toys for the likes of Haysbor, Disney, Tokyopop, Neil Gaiman and the ilk. Her HelmetHeads paintings have a sweet pop sensibility to them. She's even published a book about how to emulate the same in your own comics. This could perhaps... hint, hint... be used as an inspiration to submit a comic of your own to our TeensCreate page, just sayin'....

Speaking of literary pop sensibilities; did you know that Frank L. Baum actually wrote not just 1 but 11 OZ novels? And not all starting in Kansas... Eric Shanower and artist Skottie Young have turned them into a series of great graphic novels for your eyes to enjoy. I think perhaps in an alternate universe D'Erricco's Tanpopo and Skottie Young's Dorothy and Ozma could all be sisters. The wonders of OZ never cease ;p

To conclude our brief but delectable journey, a great version of Faust has just been republished and acquired here at CPL. The illustrations by Harry Clarke hail from the Art Nouveau era (think Aubrey Beardsley) creating a visual feast that rivals the Steampunky details of d'Errico's HelmetHeads. So if you like Tanpopo you just might enjoy. Happy Reading!

 

Zinio for Teens

by Courtney N - 0 Comment(s)

Calgary Public Library recently added Zinio, an online database that grants members access to hundreds of free magazines, to its E-Library. Members can download an unlimited number of magazines for free and keep them forever.

For those of you who have a long bus ride to school, you can download magazines the night before and read them on your phone or tablet on the way to school. Once magazines are downloaded, Wi-Fi is no longer required to read the magazines. Anyone traveling over the holidays or for spring graduation trips can make use of this feature, too.

There are just a few simple steps to accessing Zinio and you can read about getting started here: http://calgarypubliclibrary.com/books-more/ebooks/zinio

While there are over 350 magazines you can access with your library card, here are a few teen-worthy recommendations:

Nylon

Car and Driver

Seventeen

Rolling Stone

Sportsnet Magazine

Transworld Snowboarding

Popular Science

Zinio

YA Lit Pick — December

by Monique - 0 Comment(s)

 

While her parents are on an extended vacation over the summer, Kiri is left to her own devices. She plans to spend time with her best friend/bandmate/crush Lucas making music and competing in battle of the bands. She also plans on practicing the piano since she is quiet accomplished and wants to improve her skills even further. This all changes one fateful day, when she receives a call from a stranger who has her sister's belongings. The problem is that her sister died 5 years ago. It isn't until after she picks up her sister's belongings that Kiri learns how her sister actually died.

This debut novel, draws you into Kiri's life as she learns about family secrets, her relationship with Lucas and about herself. I found myself drawn to this book and wanting to know if Kiri would be ok, if she would sink or swim in the end. Although I throughly enjoyed the novel, I found that I was disappointed in the ending. It left several questions unanswered for me. Don't get me wrong, that is a good thing as it could lead to many possible conclusions. I'm looking forward to reading other material that Hilary T. Smith publishes in the future.

 

 

 

 

Steampunk H.G. Wells, Wollstonecraft and Poe? Yes please!

by Adrienne - 0 Comment(s)

Not had enough of things that creep in the dark post-Halloween? Ready to start designing next year's costume? Zdenko Basic's New Steampunk Series puts the ghostliness into the steam. It includes Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, H. G. Wells' War of the Worlds, and Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven, amongst others.

Each book features a SHORT insightful introduction which gives some interesting tidbits about each author's life as well as some historical context. Lushly illustrated with which creep their mood from mechanical to ghostly to gory, there's plenty here to fuel the steam engine of your imagination. Especially if you are a Steampunk fan. And if you've never heard of Steampunk before but like horror and gore this might just turn your crank enough to start dreaming of making Next year's Halloween costume involve gears, lace and, rivets.

I'm sure you can imagine and design your own steampunk characters or dress up your favourite YA Hero/Heroine. What would a Steampunk Katniss or Harry wear???

Soooooo... design a costume and photograph yourself or draw your favourite YA character Steampunk style and submit these to our TeensCreate page! These books may help: Steampunk Fashion & How To Draw Steampunk. For further inspiration check out CPL's great and growing Steampunk Collection. Then continue the adventure by reading Kady Cross's Steampunk Chronicle's trilogy starting with The Girl in The Steel Corset, (which includes many descriptions of awesome Steampunk outfits...) and finish with Legacy of the Clockwork Key by Kristin Bailey. May your engines be well oiled!

Fall into Graphics - Bleak Bizarre & Beautiful continued...

by Adrienne - 0 Comment(s)

For the purposes of this post let's expand "Graphic Novels" to include books that have Great Graphics in them, and are a cabinet of curiosities in and of themselves! Admittedly, these are not technically graphic novels, but are still well worth it!

Let's start with The Curiosities, a collection of stories compiled for the most part from a blog started by 3 YA all-stars: Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton & Brenna Yovanoff. Its purpose is to challenge the authors with weekly writing exercises outside of their current novels in progress; this great collection of short stories includes many drawings and, fun, hand-written notes by fellow authors commenting (often sarcastically), on the writing of their peers.

Highlights include..... A diagram of Brenna's brain, 5 signs of a Maggie story (angst, cars, sarcasm, kissing, geniuses), drawings of each of their respective work spaces; (Yovanoff's includes just a ghost, a chair and, a monster coffee mug...), and comparative charts of their average story lengths (Tessa's being a ladder to the sky that never ends); complete with snide comments on the side. ;0)-

And if you're squeamish... this book is not quite as creepy as the original Cabinet of Curiosities. Trust me...

Venturing into fairyland; Wish by Beth Bracken & Kay Fraser includes sumptuously illustrated pages in full colour making you feel like you are reading through someone's fancy fairy journal.

Once Upon a Time in the North by Philip Pullman, features black & white engravings by master carver John Lawrence, as well as photos of newspaper clippings and bills giving it an old time, 1800's, steampunky feel. This short book gives you some unknown background into the characters featured in Pullman's His Dark Materials Series (The Golden Compass).

Unnatural Creatures is a great new book of short stories out by Neil Gaiman dealing with curious creatures such as griffins, sunbirds and werewolves. Titles include such curiosities such as "The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees" & "Ozioma The Wicked".

And speaking of Mr. Gaiman... Guess who's coming to town on February 24th to speak for the Calgary Distinguished Writer's Program?..??? for FREE! Yes, that's right folks - get your (Free!) tickets on-line on October 24th at 12 noon sharp to make sure you don't miss out!

Mr. Gaiman recently presented a speech about the importance of imagination and science fiction to our culture. Check it out here! And remember to enter our All Hallow's Read contest for a chance to win one of his books, plus another scary title to give away.

Based on the acclaimed animated film Amaqqut nunaat = The Country of Wolves is a centuries old Inuit folktale that is beautifully retold by Neil Christopher and hauntingly illustrated by Ramon Perez.

Being so close to Halloween I would feel somewhat amiss if I failed to mention that we also have 2 brand NEW Graphic novels versions of two of Edgar Allen Poe's classics; The Pit and The Pendulum, & The Tell-Tale Heart . Happy Hallowed Reading!

nevermore

Page by Page

by Alexandra - 0 Comment(s)

pages staffYou always knew your Calgary Public Library card got you wicked stuff IN the library (free books, free programs, free homework help, free music, free space...) but just the other day we found out about an awesome deal your card will get you OUTSIDE the library too!

Pages on Kensington offers a 10% discount off books to any teen who shows their Library Card at time of purchase! That's ANY book, with ANY CPL Teen Library Card! We understand that sometimes you just can't wait for 400 people to finish reading the hottest title before you get your hands on it, or that sometimes you love a book so much you just HAVE to have your own copy... when those times hit, head over to Pages!

And if you're confused about the part where we said "ANY Teen Library Card", that's probably because you didn't know we now offer several different styles of cards, not to mention the chance to customize your own from photos or artwork (for a pretty penny, but could you ASK for a better cause?)! The best deal in town just got even better!

 

 

 

The boys from Pages love their ya lit!


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